Atlanta clicks on all fronts as Braves wallop Reds

Fast start: Brian McCann hit a first-inning grand slam, the third of his career, to cap off the Braves' five-run inning.

Hero: For the second straight game, Mark Teixeira blasted two homers, racking up six RBIs.

Unsung hero: Tim Hudson improved to 9-0 in his last 11 starts and became the first NL pitcher to reach the 15-win mark.

Quotable: "[Teixeira] said he wasn't feeling good today. You
couldn't tell from his at-bats. He was a one-man wrecking crew." -- Hudson

-- ESPN.com news services

Braves 14, Reds 4

CINCINNATI (AP) -- A 24-hour virus made Mark Teixeira sick to his
stomach. Those pitchers he homered off felt even worse.

A sapped Teixeira hit a pair of homers for the second
consecutive game Monday night, leading the Atlanta Braves to a 14-4
victory over the Cincinnati Reds that showed what the power hitter
can do on a nearly empty stomach.

"He said he wasn't feeling good today," said Tim Hudson
(15-5), who kept his two-month unbeaten streak going. "You
couldn't tell from his at-bats. He was a one-man wrecking crew."

Not quite. He had a lot of help in doing the damage.

Brian McCann hit a first-inning grand slam, and Andruw Jones
added a two-run shot as the Braves sent the Reds to a loss that
matched their most lopsided of the season.

With Atlanta's offense fully revved, Hudson improved to 9-0 in
his last 11 starts and became the first NL pitcher to reach the
15-win mark. The right-hander wasn't quite up to form -- his
delivery was a bit out of whack -- but the offensive splurge eased
his way.

"For four or five innings, that was as bad as I've felt all
year," said Hudson, who gave up three runs and seven hits in six

The Braves lead the NL in batting on the road, and made
themselves cozy at one of the majors' most hitter-friendly
ballparks. McCann set the tone with his third career grand slam off
left-hander Phil Dumatrait (0-2), a 26-year-old rookie who was hit
hard for the second consecutive start.

Dumatrait may not be in the rotation much longer.

"He's not pitching well," interim manager Pete Mackanin said.
"The stuff's there, but when you fall behind every hitter, you
can't get away with that at this level. We haven't been beaten like
that in a while, where somebody just comes in and crushes you."

Teixeira did most of the crushing.

He had a three-run homer in the second inning off Dumatrait, and
added another three-run shot off left-hander Mike Gosling in the
fourth. His cheeks puffed and he emphatically exhaled while
connecting on that homer, which flew an estimated 430 feet.

He sure didn't look sick and weak.

"You know you can't do what you normally do because your body
is slow, so you're more focused," said Teixeira, who threw up on
the team flight to Cincinnati. "You're going to have nights like

The Braves made a bold move on July 31, getting the
power-hitting first baseman from Texas in a seven-player deal. That
move has worked: Teixeira has nine homers and 25 RBIs in 18 games
for the Braves.

"You would think that not knowing any of the pitchers [in the
NL], there would be an adjustment," manager Bobby Cox said. "But
he's locked in at the plate."

The move hasn't worked out so well in the standings. The Braves
are still looking for a turning-point week to get them out of their

Atlanta was two games out of first place in the NL East at the
All-Star break, but has gone only 19-17 since then. The victory
Monday left them five games behind the idle Mets.

The Reds brought a little momentum into the series, coming off
their first winning road trip since June of last season -- yes, it's
been that bad. The good feelings were gone after one inning.

Dumatrait retired only six batters for the second consecutive
start. In his last two starts, Dumatrait has given up 13 runs in
four innings.

"I made a couple of pitches that weren't too bad, but I wasn't
fooling anybody," Dumatrait said.

Everyone in Atlanta's starting lineup except Hudson had at least
one hit. Teixeira added a double, Matt Diaz had three hits, Jeff
Francoeur had his team-high 44th multihit game and Jones hit his
23rd homer off Eddie Guardado.

Game Notes
The 14 runs matched Atlanta's season high. ... Teixeira has
18 career multihomer games. The six RBIs were one shy of his career
high. ... Francoeur has 51 hits since the All-Star break. ...
Hudson's hitting streak was stopped at five games. ... LHP Chuck
James will miss his scheduled start for the Braves on Tuesday
because of tightness in the back of his left shoulder. LHP Jo-Jo
Reyes will take his place. ... Reds C Javier Valentin extended his
hitting streak to a career-high 11 games. ... The Reds traded OF
Jeff Conine to the Mets for two minor leaguers before the game.
They called up INF/OF Jorge Cantu to take Conine's roster spot.
Cantu pinch-hit and singled in the eighth.